Spending money on Zimbabwe

I am not a refugee, nor did I flee from my country because of political unrest or poverty. I am merely a modern citizen pursuing a well-rounded life experience and I also aspire to make a positive contribution to the globe at large. My current experience living in a country vastly different to my own has got me thinking about how to best capitalise on my better performing foreign currency earnings; which enable me to cover more ground in my homeland – South Africa. To take it one boarder further, how much more leverage could I gain with my ‘Chinese-money’ in a country like Zimbabwe.

Granted, Robert Mugabe is off the throne but he is all most of us have ever known, and with him, we knew how and what it meant to liaise with Zimbabwe. Now, with Emmerson there seems to be a sense of hope, but what is it founded on? The absence of Mugabe? Is that really substantial cause for sudden investor confidence? I think not, at least not yet. That said, I’ll admit that for the first time ever my mind felt free to wander into the untapped terrains of opportunity that have patiently waited in the shadows of Mugabes ‘eternal’ reign.

My quest led to some worthwhile findings. Whether you’re an established entrepreneur or an ordinary person looking to take a chance on Zimbabwe; I’ve highlighted 3 of the countless options worth digging into.

Three ways to invest in Zimbabwe

1. Solar Power

The phrase “The Dark Continent” often ascribed to Africa literally translated speaks to the huge lack of electrical power supply and infrastructure on the continent. Zimbabwe is no exception and a vast majority of its 12.5 million people have limited to zero access to the power grid. Thanks to the abundant African sun that is available for over three quarters of the year in this part of Africa - Solar energy is a natural resource that can be invested in and developed, as a sustainable solution and opportunity for power supply.

2. Tourism

Hwange a town located in the northwestern part of Zimbabwe (100km from one of the 7 wonders of the world - Victoria Falls) is home to the largest coal field in the world as well as Hwange National Park - the largest National Park in Zimbabwe. This town is only one example of the many scenic locations like The Eastern Highlands, Kariba, Low Veld and many more that have boundless potential for tourism development and infrastructure.

3. Real Estate

Admittedly a personal favourite of the three investment options outlined. Zimbabwe’s real estate climate is definitely worth a second glance. Prime land from the capital Hare to hectors of lush lakeside land in the outskirts is available at rates you would not see in already thriving economies – I’d say in many instances return on investment is a worthwhile marathon and not a sprint. Pam Golding - a leading South African real estate company is already taking ground in Zimbabwe's blooming real estate industry.

As an African educated citizen, my hope is to successfully invest in Africa in a way that is sustainable and significant. There’s a market in every ecosystem despite the sociopolitical scene. There are always obvious and dormant opportunities even in the midst of transition.

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